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Jonathan Matthews
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Patrick McKenzie
Bingo Card Creator

100 sq ft?, bah

I'm not especially impressed by Joel's office space plan.

The last time I had an office of only 100 sq feet was in the mid 80s in a cube farm arrangement. Maybe in NYC where space is such a premium does that sound adequate but in the hinterlands upstate I have about 200 sq ft (12x16) and not just because I'm a senior guy, but pretty much all have the same. Even our interns when we had them were never crammed 3 to a room. They either got a full office or shared one with a senior level mentor for the summer.
SumoRunner
Friday, March 02, 2007
 
 
64 sq ft (8' x 8') is actually pretty small.  100 sq ft is a 10' x 10'.  That's where I'm sitting now, and it's set up for two people, and that works ok (50 sq ft each).

That is, it works OK as long as I have a bookshelf or two for the 12 xerox-paper-boxes worth of technical books.  And it really helps if those bookshelves don't share that 10x10.

So the "150 sq ft for three people" doesn't have to be outrageous.

"Singles" in this cube-farm are 8' x 10', or 80 sq ft.
AllanL5
Friday, March 02, 2007
 
 
most developers live in cubes. 100 sq ft office is a big step up. it is a significant cost. is joel's office in manhattan? if so his rent must be insane.
Contractor
Friday, March 02, 2007
 
 
Yes his office is in Manhattan near Time Square.  I can't even imagine the amount of overhead that office costs between rent and architecture fees.
Phil Send private email
Friday, March 02, 2007
 
 
Two of the coolest development enviroments I have ever seen:

(1) In a Long Beach, CA office tower with a view of the ocean
(2) In an industrial park, modest outside, but cool lofts and open spaces inside.  Dogs welcome.

Given a choice, the industrial park had the most surreal, calming atmosphere.
getBent( )
Friday, March 02, 2007
 
 
It's not about the size, it's about the privacy. Offices of 100sq ft are fine if all you are doing is working in them - anything bigger is just a prestige thing. However they are too small if you end up holding meetings in them - you'll need a bigger office if you don't have enough meeting rooms, or if you have to store more than a couple of rows of books, or 4 drawers of files, in your office.
DJ Clayworth
Friday, March 02, 2007
 
 
"Dogs welcome."

Uggh! I was once lucky enough that I didn't work in the main office. The owner would bring his yippy mutt into work every day and everyone there hated it. I used to hear all kinds of bad stories about how they were expected to pet it and play with it while it drooled all over their shoes. Not being a "dog person" I wouldn't have lasted very long.

I'm personally more interested in finding out more about the co-working setup. I could see how that could be useful. I currently work at home but wouldn't mind a real place that I could go to do my work now and then. I currently go to the library or the mall but Internet access isn't always available. Plus, you really can't get involved in a big phone call with a client if you are at those types of places.

Having Googled for about an hour I'm finding that locating these types of places around my city is going to be tough. Any recommendations for the Columbus, Ohio area?
dood mcdoogle
Friday, March 02, 2007
 
 
Isn't Columbus home of the University Of Ohio?  There should be lots of students (or people now working who used to be students) to get input from.

Check with the University employment center, too.
AllanL5
Friday, March 02, 2007
 
 
what is the point of having a software office near manhattan. doesn't sound like he has alot of clients come on site?

i would think his staff must have very long commutes since they can't afford to live in manhattant.

is it a prestige thing?

don't quite get the value of a development team in manhattan. i would think developers would want it somewhere more affordable like brooklyn, etc...
Contractor
Friday, March 02, 2007
 
 
"Isn't Columbus home of the University Of Ohio?  "

It's the home of The Ohio State University. I hadn't considered contacting them. But then again, I don't really want to share office space with a bunch of students either.  ;)
dood mcdoogle
Friday, March 02, 2007
 
 
100 sq ft is within spitting distance of the size of my apartment and larger than those of most of my friends.  Really, after you have a desk and a chair extra footage is not so useful.  Can you stretch yourself out and take a nap on the floor?  Probably not, so why do you need 8 feet of headroom there?
Patrick McKenzie Send private email
Friday, March 02, 2007
 
 
"Students"?  Well, I just thought that some newly minted PhD's (or Master's with a good idea) might need a co-located office more than most.  Especially if they're trying to develop some University sponsored research into a privately owned company.

Or, that people WITH co-located offices would need fresh-outs, so the University might have some insights.

Just a thought.  It's a huge resource in Columbus, I know that.
AllanL5
Friday, March 02, 2007
 
 
Are you kidding?! I'm sitting in my 9' x 9' home office right now and for one person, it's huge! I've got 2 desks, 3 computers, 5 monitors, printer, scanner, shredder, 3 bookshelves, 3 cabinets and I can still do a 360 in my rolly chair! What more could you want!
Mike S Send private email
Friday, March 02, 2007
 
 
Well, Mike, you see, the 10' x 10' is the space inside the walls.  Any bookshelves, tables, filing cabinets, printers, etc SHARE that 10' x 10' with you.

I sincerely doubt you have a 9x9 office with 2' deep bookshelves on both sides -- you'd have 5' left for yourself.
AllanL5
Friday, March 02, 2007
 
 
Also, the 10x10 was for TWO PEOPLE.  9x9 is 81 sq feet -- we already said that was a typical one-person office.
AllanL5
Friday, March 02, 2007
 
 
"Having Googled for about an hour I'm finding that locating these types of places around my city is going to be tough. Any recommendations for the Columbus, Ohio area?"

Move to Pittsburgh.  :)
getBent( )
Friday, March 02, 2007
 
 
It's kind of interesting more people are complaining about the size of the place than the monthly rent.
TheDavid
Friday, March 02, 2007
 
 
Gasp! You mean Joel has to abide by the same law of economics and physics as everyone else! So it ain't so!

His offices aren't spacious by an means, but they are enough to work from. If it sounds austere, then go start your own company in Manhattan and pay salaries, rents and buy everyone those nifty Aeron chairs and see how big your offices are. Then come back here and tell everyone how to run their company.

My office is 440 sq feet and my developers have similiar sized areas. For me, it isn't about prestige as much as I detest small, claustraphobia inducing offices. But I don't run my company in Manhattan so rents are substantially cheaper.
Whatever
Friday, March 02, 2007
 
 
"don't quite get the value of a development team in manhattan"

Joel has said before that he just likes to live in Manhattan because of the vibe of the city.
Meghraj Reddy
Friday, March 02, 2007
 
 
Patrick McKenzie, if you have a chance could you explain more about the layout of your near-100 sq ft apartment and your sub-100 sq ft friends apartments? I can understand an office that size, but I don't see how an apartment can be that size. Is this in London? Do you have a bathroom and a kitchen? I guess there are no walls in these apartments? What's the rent?
Meghraj Reddy
Friday, March 02, 2007
 
 
" Really, after you have a desk and a chair extra footage is not so useful. "

Five computers. Windows, Solaris, RH Linux, Build Machine, Legacy system and that's just the development machines I need in my office. (I'm not counting the laptop tucked into a desk drawer.) Plus, I have another room with 8 more computers for builds and tests.
SumoRunner
Friday, March 02, 2007
 
 
Patrick, I was thinking the same thing Megraj was.
I've lived in tiny apartments before, but how do you manage to live in 100 sq ft for any length of time?
farmboy Send private email
Friday, March 02, 2007
 
 
I'm thinking he must have some special really small bed that is 6x3 feet. It probably sits on a set of drawers, a captains bed, and his clothes are in the drawers. You'll need 2 ft around it on 2 sides to get in and out, so that's 8x5 = 40 ft. 40% gone. Well there's a tall dresser at one end that fits within that space as well.

So, he has a bathroom that is a toilet, with a corner sink, and a shower over the toilet. You sit on the toilet to take a shower - I've seen these. So you can have a bathroom with shower in 3x5 feet. That's 15 ft. So we have 45 ft left. The door is 3 ft wide and swings open, so that takes 3x3=9 feet. Now we have 36 feet left for the living area and kitchen. Kitchen cabinets come out about 3 feet, so a 6 ft long counter, with 3 ft in front and that has to include the sink and the refrigerator, and the dining room table.

Now his friends are living in LESS than this. I don't think it's possible. Even a small boat has 100 sq ft. A 27 ft long boat will be 10 feet wide in the center, average 7 feet, so that's 199 sq ft of living space on a small boat, twice that of Patrick's friends.
Meghraj Reddy
Friday, March 02, 2007
 
 
Smallest apt I ever had was 450 sq ft.  Very nice layout though, full kitchen, full bathroom (both within the 450sq ft), double bed, couch, bookshelf, computer desk as part of the bookshelf & tv (IKEA)

I'd love to have a 10x10 space, right now I get a desk, in an open office,  would love to have a wall, even a cubical wall.
450
Friday, March 02, 2007
 
 
100 sq ft doesn't sound too bad.  Right now, just having a quiet private office of any size would be nice.

I have had offices of about 120 sq. ft.  That is big enough to have small meetings with one or even two visitors.  My basic office equipment is: desk, chair, computer table, file cabinet, book shelf, and white board.  Special projects may require another table for extra equipment.  I am not sure what I would do with 200 sq. ft.

Having a big office can be hazardous.  If the company is expanding staff, the big offices will be primary targets for a second occupant.
EMF
Friday, March 02, 2007
 
 
"Dogs welcome."

The office across from ours does this. One of the guys has a Rottweiler, and it likes to stand in right in front of the receptionist looking menacingly at the front door. Doesn't seem like such a great idea to me.

I've got a dog, but I'd never want to work in an office where dogs were allowed on a regular basis.
sloop
Friday, March 02, 2007
 
 
"Five computers. Windows, Solaris, RH Linux, Build Machine, Legacy system and that's just the development machines I need in my office. (I'm not counting the laptop tucked into a desk drawer.) Plus, I have another room with 8 more computers for builds and tests."

Do yourself a favor - save some money and power, and pick up a copy of VMWare workstation:

http://www.vmware.com/products/ws/
Brian Send private email
Friday, March 02, 2007
 
 
"Do yourself a favor - save some money and power, and pick up a copy of VMWare workstation:"

No good. One machine couldn't possibly do all I need. I must have the native environment, including hardware, for what I make. I max out the CPU and hit the I/O hard on every machine when I run builds or tests. I run as many as 8 simultaneously, all going full-out.
SumoRunner
Saturday, March 03, 2007
 
 
"  One machine couldn't possibly do all I need. I must have the native environment, including hardware, for what I make."

What do you make?  device drivers? hardware?
Nathan Green
Saturday, March 03, 2007
 
 
Engineering number crunching. Our customers can lock up a cluster for hours. Just debugging their problems sometimes takes an hour or two of run time just to reach the failure point.
SumoRunner
Saturday, March 03, 2007
 
 
Dood McDoogle:

Look for an individual office for rent. They are out there. But you are looking at $300-$500/mo for a decent (15x15 or so) space including all utilities except phone.

A friend rents a small office in Dublin (the one outside Columbus OH, not Ireland!) for about $300/mo.

I rented an office for my own business a few years ago. I didn't really like it, because I never committed fully enough to the office that I could really base 100% of my work related stuff there. So I was always hauling things between the office and home and forgetting stuff at the other place.

I looked at business incubators. These are actually much more expensive than small single offices, and they are oriented for small companies rather than solo entrepreneurs.
Bored Bystander Send private email
Saturday, March 03, 2007
 
 

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